Crazy (Part II)

This is Part II of a short story. Click here for Part I.

***

The road was empty. At first, this didn’t surprise or disturb Darren. They were in the middle of farmland. But as he drove farther, he felt tension knotting his lower back. His hands tightened on the steering wheel.

Ahead, Darren saw a house. He noticed movement outside.

“Looks like we finally found somebody,” he said.

Angel woke up in the backseat.

Darren stopped on the road in front of the house. A man walked down from the porch. He was carrying a baseball bat, but there was no anger in his face. He looked tired.

“Hey, folks,” the man said. “How are ya?”

“Pretty good,” Darren said. “Do you know what’s happening?”

The man shook his head slowly. “No idea. Just what I heard on the radio.”

He walked up to the truck window and motioned toward his empty driveway.

“Some bastards came by and stole my car this morning. I woke up and heard the engine start so I ran outside, but they were already gone. Everyone is going insane.”

The man put his hand on the truck’s hood. “I wouldn’t be so pissed except I really need it right now. You see, my family is sick, and there’s no way to call an ambulance or anything.”

“I’m sorry, but I’m afraid I can’t help you,” Darren said.

The man shook his head. “There’s plenty of room in your truck, mister. I can’t tell you how grateful I am … I’ll go get my family.”

Darren shook his head. “You can’t come with us. I’m sorry.”

The man stopped and looked at him. “What do you mean?”

“You can’t come with us.”

The man shook his head. “Are you just going to drive away and leave us?”

Suddenly, he swung his bat back and smashed it into the truck’s headlight. The headlight shattered and tinkled down on the road.

“You can’t leave us!” the man screamed.

Darren grabbed his handgun, popped open his door, stepped out, and aimed the gun at the man in one smooth movement.

“Step away from the truck,” he ordered. “Now!”

The man froze, eyes flickering wildly. He took a small step backward.

Darren motioned the gun at him. “Farther back.”

The man staggered back and dropped the baseball bat. Darren slid back into the truck, eyes still on the man. He shifted the truck out of park and hit the gas.

The man didn’t chase them. He slumped to his knees as the truck pulled away.

Darren drove down the road and every once in a while looking at the rearview mirror.

“We couldn’t have chanced it,” Darren finally said. “It was too dangerous.”

Bobby and Angel didn’t say anything. Angel reached from the backseat and put her hand on his shoulder. She kept it there for a long time.

A few hours later, they saw a police roadblock on the road ahead. A police cruiser was parked at an angle across the road, and behind the blockade was the beginning of a small town. Darren hit the brakes. He could see a tire shredder trap in front of the cruiser.

A police officer stood behind the cruiser.

“What do we do? Just blow around him like Grand Theft Auto? ” Bobby asked.

“No. We talk to him.”

Darren stopped his truck thirty feet from the tire shredder.

The police officer spoke into a megaphone. “Please, get out of the car slowly! What are you doing here?”

Darren turned off his truck and stepped out. Angel and Bobby followed his lead.

“We’re just driving through,” Darren called out. “I’m taking my sister to the hospital. We don’t mean any trouble.”

The officer stared at them for a long time. Finally, he put down the megaphone and walked toward them. As the officer got closer, Darren saw he looked worried. Sweat stained the man’s shirt, and his forehead was scrunched together.

“Hey friends,” the officer said. “Sorry about that. The mayor told us to blockade the entrances to the town. Nobody knows what the hell is happening …”

“Do you think it’s some kind of terrorist attack?” Darren asked.

The officer shrugged his shoulders. “It could be. It’s more than a regular blackout, that’s for sure.”

“Can you let us through? We need to get to the hospital.”

The officer glanced at Angel. “Yeah, I’ll let you through. Let me tell the officer on the other side.”

They all got back into the truck. Darren started up the engine and drove around the tire shredder. As they passed the police cruiser, he saw the officer talking on his radio.

The town looked deserted. There was nobody walking around or driving. All the shops were closed. Darren’s heart rate went up. He rolled through the town at twenty mph. The stillness of the town was disturbing.

When they reached the other side town, the other police officer waved them through. Darren pressed down on the gas, and the truck sped away from the town.

They continued down the asphalt road.

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1 Comment

  1. I will post the conclusion soon.

    Reply

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